George Washington University forward Seth Rudolph and defender Abdul Shaban joined 16 of their fellow student athletes to be a part of the latest You Can Play Project video, their first of the 2012-13 school year.
Founded earlier this year, You Can Play is a series of videos that have aired online, on television, and at professional sporting venues with the message “If you can play, you can play,” irregardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
Said Patrick Nero, Director of Athletics and Recreation:
We are committed to celebrating and supporting LGBT student-athletes. Our student-athletes will be judged by the spirit they bring to the game, their support of the teammates and their dedication to GW, not by sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. At GW, if you can play, you can play.
What follows is the personal testimonial of Stephen Bickford, who was 2004 NSCAA/Adidas National High School Player of the Year, United States U-18 player, and University of North Carolina Forward, all while living the life of a young man in the closet. — Chris
In high school, I was fortunate enough to have been a part of one of the greatest youth teams in the country at the time, the ’86 CASL Elite. As a team we won the NCYSA State Championship every single year from U-14 through U-19 and were a force to be reckoned with on the national stage, winning multiple showcase tournaments all over the country.
From my first touch of a ball at 6 years old, I had a rare gift for an American soccer player. I scored goals…lots of goals. Any time I got the ball in the attacking third of the field I was confident that I was going to put the ball in the back of my opponents net, and I did, hundreds and hundreds of times. Scoring goals was my job, and it was also my favorite thing to do on this earth. Fortunately for me, the team I had playing behind me made my job a whole lot easier than it could have been, and I have to give them credit for getting me the ball as much as they did. One would think that my life couldn’t have been happier: playing for a fantastic team, winning trophies and scoring goals at will. What could I possibly be unhappy about? Well, I knew I was gay.
The 3-2 Portland Timbers loss against the New York Red Bulls was heartbreaking but it also does contain some controversy with the referees. Some might say that the second goal should have never happened because the referee blew the whistle early and people did not go after the ball. That is up to debate but regardless of that controversial result the Timbers still lost the game.
What is shocking is how Kris Boyd was never used in the game for the first time this season. That is a complete shocker seeing that Gavin have always put him in the game throughout the entire match. The three people Gavin used were Fucito, Wallace, and Palmer as subs (some might say they are sub par players or better yet not great with the fans I guess) to take out Kimura, Dike, and Songo’o. People lost confidence in the game once people realized the kinds of subs Gavin was putting in. The sad thing is of all people Kenny Coopers sub was a game changer in this game and helped lead some confidence in a NYRB team that were up against a wall after the two goals.
He told Canada’s CTV about his coming out:
I wanted to stand up and be a leader and be a role model for the other ones who might be struggling with the same thing…[Montreal] is where I feel the most comfortable. I come from a little place in North Carolina where they don’t have this type of event and community. So for me, it makes sense to be here.
Testo served as the Pride Festival’s honorary president and English-language spokesperson this past weekend.
The last 5 Portland Timbers games were against teams that were in the bottom half of the Western Conference (Chivas USA, FC Dallas) and the worst team in Major League Soccer, Toronto FC. I was hoping to get some form of results from all of these games because it could be plausible that we can get right back into the mix of things, but I was dead wrong.
The first Chivas game we lost 1-0 on a sunny afternoon down in LA, the following game we got shellacked against FC Dallas 5-0, then we lost again to Chivas USA 1-0, tied FC Dallas 1-1, and then tied 2-2. So out of this 5 game stint we only managed to get 2 points against some of the worst teams in MLS out of a possible 15 points.
I do not place blame on everybody but it seems to me that our defense is still lacking and that there is nothing Gavin is doing at this time to shore up the defense. I do not feel bad for him because he has made the team worse and is in the running to be the worst team in MLS which is something we should not be proud of. I would love to see a shoring up of strong defenders and midfielders but I also need to keep in mind this isn’t just Gavin’s decision since he has to listen to Merritt and the candidates for the coaching position as well (since they narrowed the coaching candidates during this time). Since they have a huge influence as to what kind of players they want to see on the field and which ones needs to be traded.
It’s never pretty when we go down there. Never. Mexico is a better possession team than we are and at that altitude, the chasing we would have to do to try and negate that would quickly deplete our team’s energy. To conserve legs for late in the match, we had to pack it in and let them have a lot of the ball. It’s nerve-racking to watch, but you can count on one hand the real legitimate scoring opportunities the Mexicans created against this makeshift defense.
It is difficult to stay disciplined in this kind of game and to be patient enough to let your chance or two come. Congrats to our guys for sticking to a plan for 90 minutes…
Megan Rapinoe isn’t the only out Olympic athlete heading home from London with a medal around her neck. Outsports/SBNation compiled the following list of other athletes who excelled at the Olympics:
- Seimone Augustus, USA basketball player
- Carl Hester, British equestrian
- Marilyn Agliotti, Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, Kim Lammers, and Maartje Paumen, Dutch field hockey players
- Megan Rapinoe, USA soccer player
- Judith Arndt, German cyclist
- Edward Gal, Dutch equestrian
- Lisa Raymond, USA tennis player
If “Gay” was a country, we’d have as many medals as Mexico, with 40% of out Olympians medalling. Check out their post for details on all these Olympians.
And this month the Columbus Crew are doing it again.
Put on by Columbus’ LGBT community center and monthly publication, the Columbus Crew’s Pride Night will be Saturday, August 25 as they take on the New England Revolution.
Details about the game and tailgate, and information on how to get tickets, is at Stonewall Columbus’ webpage.
Megan Rapinoe spoke to Yahoo! Sports in London.
“I guess it seems like a weight off my shoulders,” Rapinoe said on the eve of Thursday’s gold medal match against Japan, “because I’ve been playing a lot better than I’ve ever played before. I think I’m just enjoying myself and I’m happy.”
The video auto-plays, so it’s after the jump.